A NEW squad of crime-fighters have followed the lead set by policemen of old – by taking to pedal power.

A special team of cycle cops have taken to the streets of North Yorkshire and already they are having an impact.

The new Cycle Response Team has been set up as a force-wide resource which will be ready to respond when required across the county.

It can be used to help search for missing or wanted people, with the ability to go off-road and access areas where vehicles cannot go.

Operations to deter and detect crime, policing of large-scale events and the enforcement of cycling offences will also be a feature of the team’s work.

And in their first six days of duty, members of the team have already stopped and searched 21 people and made five arrests.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of cycle theft – after the cycle team caught up with the suspects and returned the bike to its owner before she realised it had been stolen. They were also arrested on suspicion of drugs possession.

Other arrests were made for driving while disqualified, possession of drugs, and burglary.

Since the team began work they have also assisted with searches for high-risk missing people in York and Scarborough, a flasher by the River Ouse and a wanted man.

The team consists of a sergeant and seven constables and Chief Constable Dave Jones described it as a “positive addition” to policing in the county.

“They will be a real asset,” he said.

“They will give us the capability to respond really quickly and effectively to developing situations and offer a presence and visibility which will be just as reassuring for our communities as it is unnerving for criminals.”

He added: “The team have already seen a positive response from the public. There was some really good feedback from residents and businesses on Sunday when they carried out some reassurance patrols on what was an extremely busy weekend.

“They will have a key role in building on the good relationships we already have with our communities and have already gathered some good community intelligence in the short time they have been in operation.”

The team can be followed on Twitter @NYPCycleTeam and also have a dedicated page at northyorkshire.police.uk/cycleresponseteam